It’s only fitting that Tiger Woods has lasted much longer than anticipated after waiting so long for his 15th major title. Last April, an amazing 3,954 days after beating Rocco Mediate in a playoff for the 2008 US Open, Woods won his fifth Masters, facing a double stress fracture and a knee injury that needed season-end surgery.
And 579 days after wearing the green jacket at Augusta National, the 44-year-old will begin his title defense after what is traditionally the first major championship of the year became the last due to the coronavirus pandemic…. Enough about the coronavirus, we have to look forward to the Masters! https://t.co/i11ba2D0ON- Today’s Golfer (@TheTodaysGolfer) November 3, 2020 The delay has not favored Woods in terms of its form, and because of some poor results since resuming golf after its shutdown, the former world number one is ranked as a 35/1 outsider. Woods started 2020 with a top-10 finish at Torrey Pines after finishing 2019 with a win at the Zozo Championship in Japan and a fourth place finish at the Hero World Challenge, but his best finish in six tournaments since his return in July is a tie for 37th. Augusta National is arguably the most likely place to appear and be successful for a rusty Woods, and with the lack of daylight becoming a fact. With afternoon thunderstorms expected during the final round of last year, tournament officials made the unusual decision to move tee times forward for several hours and send out players from both the first and tenth tees in groups of three. Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley today revealed that @themasters would provide comprehensive programming on various channels, including @CollegeGameDay live on Saturday, November 14 from Augusta National. https://t.co/pic.twitter zMNJNS84bC. Open champion Francesco Molinari started the day with a two-shot lead over Woods and Tony Finau and held a three-shot lead after six straight pars, but Woods narrowed the gap to one stroke with birdies on the seventh and eighth to build a dramatic end. com/S9Dsz25A7c- The Masters (@TheMasters) October 27, 2020 At times during his third round of 67, Woods had luck on his side and finally paid the price for a wild drive on the 10th, the resulting bogey dropping him two shots behind Molinari, who superbly saved his par after pulling his approach left of the green. The wind put a spanner in the works on the 12th hole, a par 3, and Molinari, Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Finau all sunk their tee shots into the water protecting the front of the green. Woods sensed his opportunity and played away from the hole safely. In the 2019 Masters (Bradley Collyer/PA), Francesco Molinari led by two strokes with seven holes to go. An incredible day then took another turn when Patrick Cantlay, who made the cut with only a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage, followed his third round 64 with five birdies and an eagle on 15 to take the lead momentarily, only to finish the next two holes with a bogey. Dustin Johnson and Koepka’s birdies leveled the match before Molinari’s challenge ended with a double bogey on the 15th, where Woods two-putted to take the lead from long range for birdie. At the 16th, Woods was then inches away from the third hole-in-one of the day and holed out to double his lead for birdie. Before the boisterous cheering started with ‘Tiger, Tiger’ chants on the 18th green, he afforded himself the privilege of a bogey on the final hole. ‘This will forever be the greatest golf scene,’ said six-time major winner Nick Faldo, speaking on CBS. He may be right, but something seems possible in this odd year.